Regarding "Victim no more," by Linda Sickler:
Travis McLain is my best friend. We've been through hell together, and I would go through it again for him. We both know what it's like to know you're different and feel that you're wrong for being so.
Life is hard enough being different, without living in fear that you could be attacked and even killed for who you are. But it's even worse when it happens and no one will do anything about it.
What kind of message are we sending out to people here? That it's OK to hurt somebody because they don't look like you, act like you, think like you, love the way you do? Our country was founded by people who were being persecuted for their differences. Why can't we continue that tradition?
People die on a daily basis defending our freedom or standing up for what they believe in. Can't we honour their sacrifices instead of disgrace them?
I am incredibly proud of Travis for standing up, telling the world that here is one more person who will not sit here and let this happen.
Travis and I ran the Straight and Gay Alliance (SAGA) at Windsor Forest High School last school year. And if there is one thing we taught those kids, just one thing we left them with, it was do not be afraid to stand up for who you are.
You may lose everything, it may get taken from you, even your life, but you will never, ever lose who you are as long as you refuse to let anyone take it.
Travis is a wonderful role model. He has been hit so much in his lifetime, but his true self still shines proudly. He is a kind-hearted, sweet, intelligent young man who has never been afraid of who he is and has never backed down.
Travis is a very strong young man. Even when a cowardly child of a man resorted to a hate crime, an unprovoked act of violence against someone who was different than him, then ran, Travis still stood up, and is telling everyone the here is one more tired soul who will not put up with this.
Two, even. I will fight with him to ensure that the coward does not get away and that the police department, and the rest of the world, does not hear the end of it until a change is made.
Those of you out there who are afraid to stand up, remember that no one can ever take who you are unless you let them. And by not standing up, you are letting others win over you.
Something's got to change, people. Now is the time to stand up and make a difference. We have got to stop letting people walk all over us.
We are a country that should be celebrating our differences; they are so many and make us beautiful. Let's start celebrating and stop hurting.
No need for hate crime law, simply equal justice for all
It really disturbs me to see a person beaten up terribly for no reason other one's ignorant assumptions.
Travis McLain did not deserve the beating he had received, nor did he deserve the ill treatment of the police officer handling the case. The person needs to caught and dealt with accordingly as well the officer if he found in any misconduct.
As a conservative Christian, I may not be too keen on the GBLT lifestyle, but they deserve dignity, respect, and a feeling of security like anyone else, and should be protected from barbaric acts of hate.
You see, I disagree with legislation on a hate crime bill for one reason: It is absolutely wrong to harm ANYONE because of age, race, gender, religion,or sexual preference. There should not be a special law to protect certain groups and punish people more severely for harming them than others.
White, black, Hispanic, Asian, Latin, man, woman, gay, lesbian,etc. are entitled the same protection from the law and all incidents should be dealt swiftly and certainly, regardless of all that.
In all fairness to the Savannah/Chatham Metro PD, the whole department should not be judged on the actions of a few officers, as many more are doing their level best to protect and serve the citizens of this city.
Law enforcement is hard, stressful, thankless work. So I ask to please do not lose faith and support them in any way possible.
As for Travis McLain, I hope he has a speedy recovery and that justice prevails for him.